Lost Pet Recovery Training
Pet Detective Kat Albrecht offers 8-week on-line lost pet recovery training courses for animal control officers, animal industry professionals, volunteer dog and/or cat rescuers, and a 10-week pet detective training/certification webinar course designed primarily for individuals interested in offering professional lost pet recovery services as a fee-based service, including the use of K9 pet detectives.
Missing Pet Partnership will be hosting a 5-day Lost Pet Recovery "Boot Camp" in Mystic, Connecticut from Sat May 20th thru Weds May 24th. The training includes a 2-day classroom seminar on various topics related to lost pet recovery work on Sat & Sun May 20th & 21st, followed by three days of MAR search dog training on Mon May 22nd thru Weds May 24th. Lost pet recovery volunteers from all levels and experience are encouraged to attend. For more information and to register, visit MPP's Training page.
10-week Pet Detective "MAR" Course
The (approx.) 60-hour Missing Animal Response or "MAR" course includes training in the analysis of lost pet behaviors, instruction in how to creatively capture skittish dogs and skittish cats, the use of K9 pet detective search dogs to find lost pets, lost pet forensics, search theory, animal tracking, and lost pet scenarios.
This training is perfect for pet industry professionals (pet sitters, dog walkers, dog trainers, etc.) interested in adding a new service to their existing business. It is also possible for someone not currently working in the animal industry to use Kat's training to launch their own pet detective business, just as professional Pet Detectives Kim Freeman, Lisa Bukowczyk, Landa Coldiron and Annalisa Berns have all done.
This training is only offered as a "Self-Paced" course (see below). The cost for this 10-week course is $600.00. To start the registration process, fill out the Register Online page.
8-week Rescue Volunteer / Shelter Worker Course
This training is designed specifically for individuals who are animal shelter staff, admins of lost pet Facebook pages and lost-and-found websites, dog rescue group volunteers and cat rescue group / TNR volunteers (or anyone who wants to specialize in finding just dogs or just cats). This training is vital to build a foundation in the principles of lost pet recovery and has helped animal shelters to triple, and in one case quadruple, their RTO (return to owner) rates for shelter cats!
The training covers both lost dog and lost cat recovery plus includes recorded webinars, recorded guest speakers, and a weekly 30-minute one-on-one Skype (or WebEx) meeting with lead trainer Kat Albrecht where she'll answer any questions that you have. The two sections from the 10-week MAR course that are NOT taught in the Rescue / Shelter course are "Building Your Pet Detective Business" and "How to Train a MAR K9."
Our 8-week Rescue Volunteer / Shelter Worker Course is occasionally offered as a "group course" where you will meet once a week at a scheduled time along with several other fellow students. Unlike the self-paced course, group courses are less flexible since you'll be required to meet at a specific day / time each week along with your other group members. If you miss a meeting, a link to a recording of the meeting that you missed will be sent to you.
If you do not plan to train a dog to find lost pets and you don't plan to launch a pet detective business, then the 8-week course (either self-paced or a group course) is a great option for you! The cost for this 8-week course is $400.00 for the self-paced option, $350.00 for the group course, and $300.00 per student if you register four (or more) people from your team. To start the registration process or to check available dates for group courses, fill out the Register Online page.
** TWO NEW 8-WEEK GROUP COURSES! **
We're offering two new 8-week Volunteer / Shelter Worker Group MAR Courses, one that will meet on Monday evenings starting in mid-March and one that will meet on Saturday afternoons also starting in mid-March. The Monday course starts on Mon March 13th and will meet for 1-hour on Monday evenings at 7:30 pm PST / 10:30 pm EST. The Saturday course starts Sat March 18th and will meet for 1-hour on Saturdays at 2:30 pm PST / 5:30 pm EST. It is not a problem if you can't attend every meeting (as they will be recorded) but you do need to attend most of these meetings. Sign up on our Registration page.
10-Week MAR Curriculum
The MAR Course consists of a training manual (PDF files that Kat's staff will e-mail to you) and 10 weeks of training that includes:
- Weekly self-paced 2- to 3-hour webinar (plus time spent on the Internet to view various training videos) that students will watch as their schedule permits during the week
- Homework assignments
- Discussion with experienced pet detectives on a national Yahoo e-group discussion list (a list that is only available for MAR-trained pet detectives and MAR students in training)
- Weekly live 2-hour Q&A session led by Kat Albrecht (and occasional special guests).
- We now offer a "Self-Paced MAR Course" if you're not able to work our scheduled course into your schedule.
If you'd like to watch a sample topic that you'll be trained on in this course, watch this YouTube clip regarding how to approach a skittish dog: www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmiZzB643is and this clip here regarding detecting animal track evidence www.youtube.com/watch?v=JX2SK4_Jgao.
If you plan to offer fee-based services, be aware that a few states (in the USA) have laws that say you must have a private investigator's license in order to search for lost or stolen pets as a business. Not all states have this requirement, but if you plan to take this training in order to launch for-profit pet detective services, you should research the licensing requirements in your state. If your intention is simply to help people and animals then you can take this course and put your skills to work in helping others in your community. You could even form a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and offer your pet detective tracking services as a donation-based service (instead of as a for-profit fee-based business).
The cost for the 10-week MAR course Self-Paced option is $600.00. Full payment upon registration is encouraged, although we accept a minimum deposit of $200.00 (due before the first day of class) to secure your space in this course. A second minimum payment of $200.00 is required by week #5 and the final payment ($200.00) will be due prior to the last day of class. Unfortunately, we are not able to take monthly payments for this course. If funding is an issue, we strongly suggest that you use Bill Me Later, a service provided through PayPal.
The cost for the 8-week Rescue / Volunteer / Shelter Worker Course is $400.00 for the self-paced option, $350.00 for the group course, and $300.00 per student if you register four (or more) people from your team. Full payment upon registration is encouraged, although we accept a minimum deposit of $200.00 (due before the first day of class) and your final payment of $150.00 is due prior to the 5th week of class.
Course Topics That Will Be Covered
The topics covered in these courses include History of MAR, Concept of MAR, Lost Pet Problem, Where Do Lost Pets Go, Lost Pet Behaviors, Grief Avoidance, Search Theory, Search & Recovery Applications, Utilization of MAR Search Dogs, How to / How NOT to Approach Stray Dogs, Lost Dog Recovery Techniques, Tagging, Intersection Alerts, Creative Dog Captures, Magnet Dog & Snappy Snare Captures, Lost Cat Recovery Techniques, Detect & Reunite, Trap & Reunite, Magnet Cats, Creative Cat Captures, Other Species, Flyers vs. Posters, Inattentional Blindness, Physical Evidence, Animal Tracking, Forensics Training, Pet Loss / Grief Counseling Programs, Ethics in MAR, Search Hazards, Lost Pet Phone Consultations, Insurance, Predator Risk Analysis, Building Your Pet Detective Business, equipment, how long can scent survive, scent detection vs. scent discrimination, step-by-step MAR K9 evaluations, step-by-step MAR Cat Detection Review, step-by-step MAR Trailing dog Review, and an explanation of MAR K9 training.
How to Prepare
Kat strongly recommends (but does not require) that you read the following books before you participate in her MAR Course. While all of these books contain elements that will be covered in the course, the first seven have the most application and are highly recommended:
- BLINK by Malcolm Gladwell*
- PET TRACKER: The Amazing Story of Rachel the K-9 Pet Detective by Kat Albrecht
- DOG DETECTIVES: Train Your Dog to Find Lost Pets by Kat Albrecht*
- CORMAC: The Tale of a Dog Gone Missing by Sonny Brewer*
- The Lost Dog Recovery Guide by Annalisa Berns
- The Lost Cat Recovery Guide by Annalisa Berns
- The Roaming Dog Cheat Sheet by Annalisa Berns
- K-9 Trailing: The Straightest Path by Jeff Schettler
- Red Dog Rising by Jeff Schettler
- ANIMALS IN TRANSLATION by Temple Grandin
- SCENT and the SCENTING DOG by William Syrotuck
- READY to SERVE, READY to SAVE! Strategies of Real-Life Search & Rescue Missions by Susan Bulanda
- A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO TRAINING AND WORKING THE TRAILING DOG by John Lutenberg and Linda Porter
- ONE AT A TIME: A Week in an American Animal Shelter by Diane Leigh and Marilee Geyer
- SHERLOCK BONES by John Keane
- THE HIDDEN LIFE OF DOGS by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas
- FOR THE LOVE OF A DOG by Patricia McConnell, Ph.D.
- LOST CAT: A True Story of Love, Desperation, and GPS Technology by Caroline Paul.
Kat is also available to travel to your community to teach a 2-day "Mission Reunite" special training for animal shelter staff, volunteers, humane societies, animal coalitions, rescue groups, and Facebook Lost Pet Recovery Teams. Please visit our Shelter Training page for more details.